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what sounds better ? - listening test results (Music Player Software, Server Hardware/OS, combinations and tweaks)

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OK - here goes. In the thread "Questions to Amarra", link



I posted some questions about sound quality of the best Mac OSX combination vs the best XP combination. It would be great to see the results from other members of their own listening tests - specific questions I am interested in are:


Mac OSX based systems, vs XP-based systems


Lynx AES16 vs AES16e on Mac and PC (on the Mac this will mean comparing a modern PCIe system with an old G4 or G5 system)


What software file players sound best - not just the library type apps like iTunes but anything from simple file players like Wave Editor for the Mac, right up to big DAW apps like Logic or Samplitude, if you happen to have tried them.


Posting guidelines request - to help keep this in focus and allow us all to learn from each other to improve our systems ....

Put down as much as possible about the testing rig/configurations used.

Put down the approximate date you did the listening test

Only post regarding listening test comparisons, not stuff like "Well I've got this rig an it souns great to me" those types of post are definitely unwanted by this OP ! :-)

Please no posts about theory or opinions or jargon like 'bit-perfect' or 'jitter'- only actual listening comparisons experienced.

Posts requesting specific comparisons are fine and actively encouraged.


Some of the things that make a difference to SQ in practice will greatly surprise. If we can keep this in focus, I think this will be really helpful to a lot of people in gettng the best out of their music. I am interested in exactly that - anyone's genuine experiences that can help with getting a better system together are extremely welcome. Hope those that have done tests, especially people like the friend Chris referred to in his article on the Dell XP server who did extensive tests that even included some mastering engineers, will see fit to volunteer their experiences.


Hope Chris approves !!



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Is it really so nobody dares to come up with answers they're confident about ?

Strange ...


Of course sonics1 asks you to be VERY sure about it.



(nothing intended here !)



Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2.5      Ethernet^3     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Just to correct any potential misunderstanding ..........

The idea is NOT NOT NOT to try to be sure about the audible differences. It's taken for granted (by me at least) that most people have two ears on the sides of their head and can actually hear ! For this purpose it does not matter at all how informal your listening was. In my personal view informal is fine because that's how most people actually listen for pleasure anyway. As long as you don't have a road drill going off in the same room. Just give your impressions - what pleases you more when you listen to it - that' all. The other info requested is just so everyone can see the context of the listening. Maybe I should hace titled the thread 'Listening Impressions' or somesuch.


Hope that clarifies ..............


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I'll try to organize my notes regarding "subjective" listening tests among a core group of listeners and my work stations:


1. Zalman configured with services turn off to increase OS stability with XP - Sequoia Digital, Media Monkey, and Wave Lab with an AES16 PCI and SLC SSD, hard drives, and NAS.


2. Dell XPS720 configured as #1.


3. 2nd Dell XPS720 configured as #1 with PCIe.


4. Mac Pro with attention to Leopard OS configuration, SLC SSD and the various drives, Lynx PCIe, Amarra-SoundBlade ver. 1.3.


5. Power Mac G5 with PCI and careful attention to OS configuration with the same various drives.


6. Mac Book Pro, 15" with USB and Firewire interfaces.


7. 7 month old Mac Mini.


This may take time to organize as the comparisons took place during the past years and I am continuing to revisit the characters. for not, I look at the work stations and compare the to phono cartridges. By the way, I reference to high speed 1/2 track analogue tape playback.




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That is truly the jackpot - I could not have hoped for a better set of workstations to compare. Appears you are either in or close to the pro audio field.

I would be fascinated to know whether the G5/AES16 beats the MP/AES16e for example, and with which OS version.


Look forward to seeing the write-up even if it comes in parts.




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